Monday, August 07, 2006

Gutsy Faith Weeks 2&3

Okay, I am falling behind already.

We are really getting into some good stuff in the Gutsy Faith group. This is the second time I have read the book, since I designed the cover I read the manuscript almost a year ago, but having this discussion group to share thoughts, ideas, and testimony with has sure made a difference in what I am getting out of the book. If you have the opportunity to read Gutsy Faith with a group I highly recommend it.

Anyways. In week 2 we covered chapters 4-6, and in week 3 we looked at chapters 7-9.
In the group we talked a lot about prayer and wrestled with the idea of God not wanting to say "no" to us. I still am not sure I buy that statement, but I understand now what Jeff is getting at. It isn't a matter of God wanting to say yes or no to us; it is a matter of us desiring God's will. Basically, if God is saying "no" you probably aren't asking the right questions, or at least not at the right time.

Sometime during my college years I heard a sermon about the Lord's Prayer that got me thinking about the way I pray. It seems that even when my intentions are pure that my prayers end up self motivated. At that time I made a decision to pray for God's will specifically by stating it. Ever since then I have prayed for something and then asked that God fulfill that prayer only if it is His will, and if it is not, to shape my will to His. Half of the time it is nothing more then lip service, as my heart still desires what I want more then what God wants, but if nothing else it is a reminder to me set my desires aside and that God surely does have my best interest in mind.

There was one section that really stood out to me in these chapters, not because it is anything I haven't thought before, more because it was a powerful reminder to me of what it means to live Gutsy Faith. Here is what Jeff says in reference to Christ telling His disciples they had the power to move mountains.

"It's important to understand that since the Fall in the Garden of Eden, God has been about the business of restoring all of creation to Himself. In the Exodus, we see God at work, bringing cataclysmic plagues on Egypt, parting the Red Sea, feeding the Israelites with manna, all in the eventual goal of restoring creation. Through the work of the Old Testament prophets, and the work of the judges and kings of Israel, we see God at work restoring all of creation. In the Gospels, we see Jesus performing miracles left and right, all in the interest of restoring creation. God has worked through nature, through the hands of His people, and through His own presence to bring about restoration.

And in Matt. 21:18-22 we find Jesus telling His disciples that if they have faith and don't doubt, they can and will move mountains. Jesus isn't just giving them challenging word to deal with their daily trials and sufferings. He's far beyond that. He's thinking of Kingdom issues here. Jesus is challenging them to be so close to God the Father, knowing and understanding His voice so clearly, that when they hear Him whisper, "Go move that mountain," they will know it immediately, and in faith will do so because it will be God's power moving it, not their own, all for the purpose of bringing about restoration."

Well, until next week, if you have any incites on prayer or things you can do to improve your prayer life, or anything else this post brings to you mind, leave it in the comments below.

1 comment:

Mamamax said...

Good review and reminder. You are right to say you want God's will even when you are struggling with it - that's a great habit! When I was a teen I was challenged to sign my name to a sheet of paper and let God fill in the rest of the detail of my life. He has blessed my life so much more than I ever could have imagined or asked. When we moved here it was as if it was time to do that again. Blank sheet of paper - where are we going God? You and Jon are part of the miracles of this stage in my life :)

Love Mom